Thursday, October 6, 2011

Decidedly Undecided

If you've followed me for any length of time, you'll know that I'm not afraid to voice my political views. Hell, I'm not afraid to voice my views on anything else; why should politics be any different?

When it comes to the federal level of politics, I'm pretty consistent. I've always voted Liberal, even though I tend to lean toward the vision and and policies of the NDP. In the last federal election, I almost voted for the NDP: I liked the candidate who was running in my riding. The trouble was, the best shot at getting the pin-headed incumbent out of my largely conservative riding was the Liberal candidate. And he couldn't do it.

Today is election day in Ontario. Today, we go to the polls either to re-elect our current Premier or to vote in a new one. And I have no idea what to do.

I do know who I won't be voting for. We already have enough visionless, corrupt Conservatives in the House of Commons. We don't need more running this province. For me, Tim Hudak comes across as not very mature; after all, didn't he propose bringing back the buck-a-beer two-four? Does he still think he's a first-year university student? I have seen nothing that proves to me that he's interested in the environment, and tax cuts—corporate or personal—don't cut it with me. First of all, inflation makes things more expensive. We have to pay for them somehow. As long as my tax dollar isn't squandered (say, on prisons and jet fighters... wait, that's the federal Conservatives... never mind), I don't mind paying for a decent quality of living.

I like Andrea Horwath's idea of only offering corporate tax breaks to those companies that actually invest in growth: hire more workers, save on taxes. Offer no jobs, get no breaks. I do like many of the things Horwath has said through the campaign, but I don't really know her. Would she be a good leader? Would she have a positive vision for Ontario that she would be able to realize? Maybe. I don't know.

The NDP candidate for my riding is the same man who ran for the federal NDP. And as I said, he's a good man. He obviously wants to help the people in his region on whatever level of politics that he can. And so I'm considering the NDP.

And then there are the Liberals. Dalton McGuinty has made some mistakes during his eight years as Premier. He once promised not to raise taxes, but he did (just as I suspected he would, by the way). There was that eHealth fiasco: tons of our hard-earned tax dollars down the drain. There's the high cost of electricity. And the jury is still out on the HST.

As I said, I don't care about taxes going up as long as the money is well-spent. Politicians breaking promises over tax hikes seem almost par for the course. Yeah, I was ticked off about eHealth, but not nearly as cheesed as I am about the federal government's waste. We all got annoyed over the GST, but then got used to it: how is the HST any different?

I'm not a huge fan of McGuinty but I have nothing against him either. He's a politician, and politicians aren't perfect. But I do believe he is trying to do right by Ontario and is not in the game to stay in power for his own sake.

And after David Suzuki endorsed him as the best hope for the environment in Ontario, I started paying more attention, more respect.

But do I vote for him? I don't know.

I know nothing about the Liberal candidate in my riding, other than his name. I had to actively search for him online, long before any signs finally adorned lawns. His Web site offers no insight that makes me want to vote for him.

And so I'm undecided.

I know I won't vote for the incumbent. She hasn't done much for this riding, other than show up for photo ops and slam the current Liberal government. And besides, I could never vote for someone who stands behind the weasel who is our riding's federal MP.

I could return my ballot unchecked. Did you know that you can do that? Not spoil the ballot, but show up, get your name crossed off the voters' list, and then decline your vote. Doing so counts, and shows that you voted for none of the above.

And so it's election day. And I don't know what I'm going to do.

Whatever you do, get out there. Vote. Be counted.

Oh yeah, and while you're in a voting mood, please have a look at the photos that I shot for Worldwide Photo Walk and vote for your favourite shot. The poll is at the top of the right-hand column on this page. The poll closes at 8:00 tonight; that's one hour before the Ontario election polls close.


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